Man Utd. on the Verge of Sale, But Glazers Want More Money

(Photo credit: Ryu Voelkel/Flickr)

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The Glazer family must’ve read about Dan Snyder’s record-breaking $6 billion deal to sell the lowly Washington Commander American football team and said, “hold my lager.”

As the Glazers zero in on a sale of their English soccer club Manchester United, the incredibly wealthy US family is pressuring potential buyers to cough up more dough, the Financial Times reported.

Bidding Wars

In the center of the bidding ring, British billionaire and INEOS chemical group leader Sir Jim Ratcliffe is duking it out with Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, the son of a former Qatar prime minister. On the apron, as much as he can ever be, is Paul Singer and his private equity powerhouse Elliot Management, which proposed funding an external bidder or the Glazers if they choose to retain ownership of the team. Sources told the FT that the Carlyle Group has put forth a similar bid.

With pro sports franchise sales shattering records every few months it seems, the Glazers look to be holding out for a little bit more green… and someone they feel can complete the takeover in an efficient manner:

  • In roughly the past decade, the price of soccer team purchases has shot up like crazy. In 2010, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry bought Liverpool FC for $477 million, and in 2018, Stan Kroenke acquired the remaining shares of Arsenal FC for $712 million.
  • Man Utd competes in England’s Premier League, where US investors Clearlake Capital and Todd Boehly hold the record for the most expensive acquisition in the system: buying Chelsea FC for roughly $2.8 billion in 2022.

High score: Man Utd. is one of the most recognizable names in soccer and ergo the world. It’s the most dominant team in the most competitive league having won 13 championships since it entered the league in 1992. Ratcliffe’s previous bid valued the team at $5.5 billion. With the final bid deadline set for April 28, it looks like Manchester has a solid chance of outpacing the Commanders and making Snyder think he could’ve held out a little longer too.